Art in the Archives – Oil Painting of Frederic William Browne (1877-1966)


In 2007 Ray Watkin Strange made another gift to the Woodson Research Center of an oil painting by Frederic W. Browne, framed in 1917. Painted in the impressionist style, the view of a French village, like many of his works of the period, evokes a restful vision of the country washed in a silvery gray light.

Born in Belfast, Ireland, Frederic Browne grew up in Philadelphia, where he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1911 he went to France and attended the Académies Julian, Colarossi, and de la Grande Chaumière. He toured France, Sicily, and Tunis during the four years he studied in Paris, returned to the U.S for a short period, and revisited France in 1917, working there for another four years. In 1925 Browne accepted a position as an instructor in Architectural drawing and painting at the Rice Institute; in 1935 he joined the art faculty at the University of Houston, where he remained until he retired.

One thought on “Art in the Archives – Oil Painting of Frederic William Browne (1877-1966)

  1. Browne’s arrival was the lead article in the Dec. 11, 1925, Thresher:

    “Frederic Browne arrived Tuesday to take John Clark Tidden’s place as art instructor at Rice, literally speaking. Mr. Browne comes to Rice from New York where he has been an instructor in glass staining and designing. About a month ago he visited Rice in order to look the school over and he says that the impression he gained was an exceptionally favorable one.

    “The new instructor has had several years practical experience as a designer of stained glass in this country and abroad, as well as an illustrator for books and magazines and as a teacher of life drawing and design.

    “Mr. Browne’s attractive French wife is one of his most valuable assets.”


    BTW, In his Oct, 26, 1925 letter confirming the appointment, William Ward Watkin misspells Browne’s first and last names:

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